The doors of at 11026 Magnolia Blvd. have remained closed for about a year, but new owner Jeffery Patterson hopes to have them swung open in the coming months once he recasts the spot as the brand-new Purple Monkey.
Patterson, a film producer who's ran a few restaurants in his home state of Florida, that he wants his new business up and running by May.
But a busy shooting schedule over the summer for his latest film sparked some delays.
Now, Patterson says he's signed up an architect and designer for his project and that a 60-day remodeling effort would kick off on Oct. 1.
He says part of his goal is to brand Purple Monkey as a day spot where local artists and screenwriters can stop by for lunch and free WiFi.
"We want to cater to the area, and this area has a lot of true artists, whether it's the dance studios or people in the the business," Patterson said.
At night, the business takes on more of a getaway-in-the-city vibe, where customers can come enjoy the indoor vegetation, dinner and a cocktail.
"We'll have beer and wine or liqour, not to build a bar but to complement the food. People can have a glass of wine with their dinner or a cocktail with dinner," Patterson said.
He said he wants to serve Key West mainstays like soft-shell crab sandwiches during lunch time, while the menu would transition into higher-end dishes like seared tuna in the evening.
As for remodeling work, Patterson said he will install a new koi pond, lighting, an aquarium behind the bar and some new wood-carved poles to hold up the canopies.
Patterson added that some of the "childish" art work on the walls would also be redone.
He bought Rain Forest Cafe a little under a year ago, shortly after it went out of business.
If all goes according to plan, Purple Monkey would be open for business by the end of the year, Patterson said.
And part of that plan also entails telling the story of the new restaurant on TV. Patterson said he is in talks with the Bravo network to do a reality show about balancing the opening of the new business with his life as a single dad.